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Nuclear Tech Race Is On In Middle East

Zonk posted about 8 years ago | from the winner-could-also-be-the-loser dept.

352

CaroKann writes "The TimesOnline is reporting that six Middle Eastern nations have announced interest in developing nuclear technology. The nations involved are Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, the UAE and Saudi Arabia, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency. The Middle East Economic Digest states that most of these nations are interested in developing nuclear technology for the purpose of powering desalination plants. However, the International Institute for Strategic Studies, suggests that the sudden interest in nuclear technology is driven by the desire of the six nations to create a 'security hedge' in response to Iran's recent nuclear development program."

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Ho hum (2, Insightful)

Drinking Bleach (975757) | about 8 years ago | (#16718609)

Worry me when they're threatening to use them.

Plan ahead (2, Informative)

WindBourne (631190) | about 8 years ago | (#16718649)

Iran has nuclear capable missles that can hit all of the middle east and most of Europe. The time to plan is not when they announce and show their nukes, but when you can influence them. Sadly, that time was a couple of years ago. We decided to invade a nation for its oil rather than worrying about the security of all the nations. At this time, I would count on the fact that the entire middle east will have nuclear missles within 15 years. Lets hope that W. (or the dems) do not kill the ABL (anti-ballistic laser). Lasers are probably our best shot at stopping these missles. The patriot system can be easily overwhelmed.

Re:Plan ahead (1)

daeg (828071) | about 8 years ago | (#16718813)

Lasers do no good if we end up killing off all of the sharks in the oceans. If sharks fail, we can try some mutated sea bass.

Re:Plan ahead (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16718897)

THATS your security blanket?

A fictitious pie-in-the-sky technology?

Re:Plan ahead (2, Interesting)

Broken scope (973885) | about 8 years ago | (#16719043)

If you can hit the actual missile, change its course, dent up the surface or damage stuff needed for reentry, you can prevent it from hitting its target with a fission or fusion reaction. Now the radioactive materials will still be spread around so its a trade off you have to make.

Re:Plan ahead (2, Interesting)

iceph03nix (1005545) | about 8 years ago | (#16719089)

umm...not so fictitious. The lasers you see in scifi shows are still very far off but we do have lasers today that can be used for missile defense. Its not ZAP-BOOM but rather a process of using the rays in the laser to overheat the internal systems in the missiles control systems thus disarming it. Think of it like setting a spotlight right next to your computer and turning it on. How long do you think your comp is gonna run with that much heat applied directly to it?

Re:Plan ahead (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16719107)

No.

Re:Plan ahead (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16719235)

Can the system reliably hit a missile without a GPS transponder inside of it yet?

Re:Plan ahead (2, Informative)

WindBourne (631190) | about 8 years ago | (#16719279)

You are thinking of the patriot system. The ABL is about undergo testing for the targeting system. Late next year, is suppose to be the test for the total package. ABL should work whereas the patriot system never really had a chance.

Re:Plan ahead (1)

topace3 (962476) | about 8 years ago | (#16719131)

Lasers are probably our best shot at stopping these missles
Except that defense against nuclear missiles upsets the nuclear balance of power. I wouldn't trust any nuke-armed contry with such an advantage. Of course, sooner or later, every contry worth blowing up will have it, and then maybe we could talk about getting rid of most of the nukes in the world, but the immediate danger is one contry with nukes and no way to strike at them. At that point, it won't matter wether it's a commie terrorist dictatorship, your favorite EU state or the USA, enough power will turn anyone bad. I can only hope that this technology is developed in several countries at the same time.

Re:Plan ahead (2, Insightful)

yog (19073) | about 8 years ago | (#16719261)

The consensus in mainstream analytical circles is that a nuclear war is quite unlikely. Even Iran's mullahs aren't that crazy, their bluster about destroying Israel notwithstanding; Israel is rumored to have MIRVs with dozens of warheads on them; they could easily wipe out all life in Iran if they wanted to.

The real likelihood is that a terrorist might obtain a nuclear device and detonate it in the middle of a major city, or from a container ship floated into New York harbor.

Probably the main thing protecting us is not anti-missile technology, which of course is meaningless against a smuggled weapon, but rather the threat of nuclear annihilation against any foe (N. Korea, Iran) thought to have supplied the bomb to the perpetrators. Undoubtedly such threats have been made clear to those people behind the scenes.

Re:Ho hum (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16718703)

Worry me when they're threatening to use them.

Have you ever listened to the Sunnis & Shiites? There are large numbers of them that despise each other, and would do just about anything to kill each other.

Over the last year, a majority of the deaths in Iraq have been Sunnis & Shiites killing each other.

Re:Ho hum (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16718839)

Did you miss Iran's recent talk of destroying Israel?

Re:Ho hum (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16719007)

I missed that actually, do you have a cite for me?

Re:Ho hum (1)

DigitalRaptor (815681) | about 8 years ago | (#16718851)

People already ~are~ threatening to use them.

Various terrorists, including Bin Laden, have threatened to kill millions of Americans.

The threat isn't that North Korea or anyone else will nuke the U.S. They're probably smarter than that.

The real threat is that they'll sell components to terrorists who will smuggle them into the U.S. across our porous southern borders, then detonate them in a big city ala Jericho [cbs.com] .

This threat is a lot more real than any other we face, IMHO.

Re:Ho hum (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16719391)

Interesting. Did you happen to read last night's article by Bruce Schneier? While the events you describe have some chance of occuring, you're still FAR more likely to die in an auto accident.

Re:Ho hum (1)

nightfire-unique (253895) | about 8 years ago | (#16719447)

The real threat is that they'll sell components to terrorists who will smuggle them into the U.S. across our porous southern borders, then detonate them in a big city ala Jericho.

This threat is a lot more real than any other we face, IMHO.

I would tend to agree. It may be in the interest of everyday Americans to learn to control their government's military, assassination and anti-democratic excursions (Iraq, Iran, NK, all over south america, Vietnam, Panama, Israel/Lebanon, Afghanistan, etc, etc, etc). This way, the amount of hatred harboured towards the US will decrease, and the terrorists will instead go about their everyday lives.

good, I'm glad (-1, Flamebait)

p51d007 (656414) | about 8 years ago | (#16719365)

Let them blow each other up and the world will be a better place without all those towel heads!

Re:Ho hum (1)

houghi (78078) | about 8 years ago | (#16719405)

Well, one country that already has the bomb and has already used it, HAS treaten to use it again.

BOOM! (-1, Troll)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | about 8 years ago | (#16718617)

(first post)

Re:BOOM! (-1, Troll)

blackC0pter (1013737) | about 8 years ago | (#16718741)

PWN3D!!!!

BOOM! (0, Offtopic)

PixelScuba (686633) | about 8 years ago | (#16719483)

(And possible LAST post!)

And... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16718623)

USA and UK have pledged to provide all the possible help to counter Iran's Nuclear threat?

Wow, it is close to an election or what? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16718635)

Enough with the BS political scare stories. Yes, you Americans want to get all excited about your coming election, but can you spare us the drama?

Re:Wow, it is close to an election or what? (1)

ScentCone (795499) | about 8 years ago | (#16718807)

BS political scare stories

Um... what, because when UK journalists [timesonline.co.uk] report the story, it's Americans getting all excited? Or would you be trying to pretend that an actually disturbing development, field by Iran's posture, is somehow the US's fault, rather than being the regional scariness that it is?

Re:Wow, it is close to an election or what? (0, Flamebait)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | about 8 years ago | (#16718889)

Enough with the BS political scare stories. Yes, you Americans want to get all excited about your coming election, but can you spare us the drama?
Oh yeah? Saddam Hussein, a former head of state, is about to get sentenced to death just in time for our election.

Just tell me who's gotten a death sentence right before the elections in your piddly little country! Certainly no former foreign heads of state I'll imagine!

<img src="styrofoam_index_finger.gif"/> USA! USA! <img src="bush_flag_eagle.gif"/>

Re:Wow, it is close to an election or what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16719253)

Never thought of it like that before. Cool stuff, huh? Gotta love USA!

To be expected really (1)

KitsuneSoftware (999119) | about 8 years ago | (#16718641)

Very soon the cat will not only be out of the bag, but it will have shredded it on the way out.

Re:To be expected really (1)

kfg (145172) | about 8 years ago | (#16719357)

Letting the cat out of the bag is not the same thing as squeezing the toothpaste out of the tube.

KFG

Was it Nostradamus who said? (1)

paiute (550198) | about 8 years ago | (#16718645)

First we had the bomb
But that was good
Because we love peace and motherhood
Then Russia got the bomb
But that's okay
The balance of power
Is preserved that way.

We'll try to stay serene and calm (1)

Llywelyn (531070) | about 8 years ago | (#16718827)

When Alabama gets the bomb!

Re:We'll try to stay serene and calm (1)

Atlantis-Rising (857278) | about 8 years ago | (#16718883)

South Africa wants two, that's right-
One for the black and one for the white!

Re:We'll try to stay serene and calm (1)

IvyKing (732111) | about 8 years ago | (#16718901)

Israel getting tense, wants one in self-defense

You forgot the rest of the poem (2)

1053r (903458) | about 8 years ago | (#16718977)

...
Then Iran and N.K. get the bomb and we're all screwed
Because martyrs get 72 virgins in the nude
ahmadinejad says he's not insane
what about when they bombed spain?

Kim jong il says "I want a nuclear power plant"
Good ol GW says "No you can't"
He says it's so we won't have to live in fear
Don't we have a double standard here?

We all know there were weapons in Iraq
Blix just couldn't find them because he was wack
He was probably over there smokin crack
While drinking whiskey and playing blackjack

Killing our freedoms, one by one
is something the government thinks is fun
American citizens can own a gun
but give iran a nuke and armageddon's begun

The democrats were right, we knew all along
that we shouldn't vote in a politician with no schlong
(or if you want you can call it a dong)
We see everyday george bush is wrong

Impose sanctions on the axis of evil
because dictators are such weevils
To kill soldiers and get cheap oil,
is "definately not the reason we're on iraq soil"

Now we're just two days before an election
The G.O.P isn't liking the rejection
"Our party is without a flaw"
(by the way: "no timetable for withdrawal")

Kerry was criticizing the president, you see
maybe luckier next time you will be
do your homework, study hard,
and you won't get stuck in the national gaurd

(I ran out of ideas, would any /.ers like to keep the rhyme going for me?)

Re:You forgot the rest of the poem (2, Funny)

jb.hl.com (782137) | about 8 years ago | (#16719299)

If there are any Slashdotters who could carry on those rhymes, could they please not, because reading the parent has made me lose the will to live. Thanks.

Re:You forgot the rest of the poem (1)

MindStalker (22827) | about 8 years ago | (#16719337)

Kim jong il says "I want a nuclear power plant"
Good ol GW says "No you can't"

Umm they have a nuclear power plant, we gave them one, and have offered them more in the past.

Re:Was it Nostradamus who said? (1)

LordEd (840443) | about 8 years ago | (#16719011)

Then Cats set us up the bomb
But that's okay
The Zigs for justice
are on their way.

Fear my google-fu! (2, Informative)

weteko (1022621) | about 8 years ago | (#16719221)

Tom Lehrer, "Who's Next" First we got the bomb and that was good Because we love peace and motherhood Then Russia got the bomb but that's OK Because the blance of power's maintained that way Who's next? France got the bomb but don't you grieve Because they're on our side, I believe China got the bomb but have no fears Because they can't wipe us out for at least five years Who's next? Then Indonesia claimed that they Were gonna get one any day South Africa wants two, that's right One for the black and one for the white Who's next? Egypt's gonna get one too Just to use on you-know-who So Israel's getting tense Wants one in self-defense "'The Lord's our Shepherd,' says the Psalm But just in case, we better get a bomb!" Who's next? Luxembourg is next to go And who knows, maybe Monaco We'll try to stay serene and calm When Alabama gets the bomb Who's next? Who's next? Who's next? Who's next?

Re:Fear my google-fu! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16719317)

LOL. The idiot can't write HTML!!!!11!!!111!!!!

What happen? (1)

Gricey (154787) | about 8 years ago | (#16718661)

Someone set us up the bomb.

Saudi Arabia needs nuclear power... (2, Funny)

patio11 (857072) | about 8 years ago | (#16718677)

... because its not like they have a cheap, abundant source of power anywhere.

Re:Saudi Arabia needs nuclear power... (1)

Salvance (1014001) | about 8 years ago | (#16718767)

Sure, they could use oil to power EVERYTHING, but why use their only resource for power? Over the next few decades, oil will almost certainly average $60 per barrel. Saudi Arabia produces it for $10 per barrel. Producing a barrel equivalent worth of nuclear power costs under $20 (at least in the Mid Atlantic U.S. region) ... which means that for every barrel worth of nuke power they can make, they provide themselves the opportunity to gain a $40+ profit on a real barrel of oil down the road.

Re:Saudi Arabia needs nuclear power... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16719189)

Any chance uranium producers decide to band together and sell uranium at 6x the production cost to OPEC members?

Re:Saudi Arabia needs nuclear power... (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | about 8 years ago | (#16719301)

Any chance uranium producers decide to band together and sell uranium at 6x the production cost to OPEC members?

So the OPEC countries will start reprocessing fuel and using breeder reactors to make more fuel.

-b.

Re:Saudi Arabia needs nuclear power... (1)

Mr. Flibble (12943) | about 8 years ago | (#16718971)

... because its not like they have a cheap, abundant source of power anywhere. /blockquote.

Removing oil from the ground, and processing it requires energy. Why would you want to burn some of the oil that produces your profits? Also, they know that the oil will eventually run out, and as the reserves get lower, the oil becomes harder to pump, and costs more to extract. This means decreasing profits.

Even Iran, which is an oil rich nation could become a net energy IMPORTER. Thus, they need other means of producing energy than just oil. So, while western nations don't want these countries to have the bomb, they both need nuclear power to keep their economies/countries going, and the simple fact is that the bomb gives them extra security.

We may not like that here in the west, but having a bomb keeps people from invading your country.

So, they need to generate power, and nuclear works, a side effect is that they can use this for defense.

Re:Saudi Arabia needs nuclear power... (1)

killjoe (766577) | about 8 years ago | (#16719323)

Oil is too valuable to be used internally and only getting more expensive. Why not minimize the use of oil internally so you can sell all your stock.

using oil is bad for the environment.

These countries need nuclear weapons in order to counter a threat from the US and israel. US has made it clear it claims ownership all oil supplies er I mean strategic resources anywhere in the world.

Personally I think they should get nuclear weapons before they get power plants, it's cheaper and quicker to go that route.

Re:Saudi Arabia needs nuclear power... (1)

turgid (580780) | about 8 years ago | (#16719433)

I wish I were on Mars right now.

World war's a-coming...

...Oh wait.

What's the point in manned space exploration?

Sarcasm is the lowest form of Humour. Heavy metal is the lowest form of music. We're all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars.

I am the lowest form of life.

Another possible cause. (0, Flamebait)

Lethyos (408045) | about 8 years ago | (#16718679)

Perhaps in response to unbridled United States aggression in the region.

Re:Another possible cause. (1)

quanticle (843097) | about 8 years ago | (#16718745)

Given the fact that most of these countries' ruling classes are propped up by US money and arms, I somehow don't think they're as afraid of us as they are of their own people.

Re:Another possible cause. (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 8 years ago | (#16719139)

This move makes a lot of sense if it's motivated by US aggression. If Iran says 'we're building a nuclear capability' then the USA might well invade. If everyone in the region says it, then what can the USA do?

Re:Another possible cause. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16719475)

Glass 'em?

Re:Another possible cause. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16718867)

Perhaps in response to unbridled United States aggression in the region.

Unbridled aggression would have involved our nuclear arsenal. Invading Iraq was stupid, but definitely bridled.

Re:Another possible cause. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16719231)

Amm .. not to be conspiratorial but isn't there somebody *cough* Israel *cough* that already has nukes and has no fear in using them ? This M.A.D business is getting a little out of hand.

G

Middle Eastern nations ? (4, Informative)

Fruny (194844) | about 8 years ago | (#16718687)

Considering how Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia are all located to the West of Italy, with Morocco itself facing Spain, I honestly don't think they can or should be called Middle Eastern nations. Some people needs to review their geography a tiny little bit.

Re:Middle Eastern nations ? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16718747)

We say Middle Eastern because we can't call them what they are -- Islamic states.

Re:Middle Eastern nations ? (1)

thue (121682) | about 8 years ago | (#16718837)

There is a better label to apply than the obviously wrong "Middle Eastern". The mentioned countries are all "Arabic".

Re:Middle Eastern nations ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16718861)

See, most Americans don't know where Italy is. They don't know where Spain is. To them, any nation that is to the west of LA is "China". Any region to the east of North Carolina is the "Middle East".

Re:Middle Eastern nations ? (1)

Fruny (194844) | about 8 years ago | (#16718933)

Well, it's an excellent opportunity to learn [wikipedia.org] .

Oh really (1)

Mikachu (972457) | about 8 years ago | (#16718693)

However, the International Institute for Strategic Studies, suggests that the sudden interest in nuclear technology is driven by the desire of the six nations to create a 'security hedge' in response to Iran's recent nuclear development program."

Hmm... YA THINK?

Re:Oh really (1)

njdj (458173) | about 8 years ago | (#16718819)

Well, let's see. Iran has not attacked any other nation, except in direct response to being attacked (by Iraq in 1980), for about the last thousand years. Doesn't seem like much of a threat to me.

On the other hand, there's a country much bigger than Iran which seems to bomb or invade a different country every 3 or 4 years ... Panama, Grenada, Libya, Sudan, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq just since 1980, and I've probably missed a couple. I think it might be a good idea to have a deterrent to being attacked by that country, don't you?

Re:Oh really (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16719149)

Iran's new president describing Israel as a "disgraceful blot" that should be "wiped off the face of the earth".

Sounds like a peace loving country to me!

Re:Oh really (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16719223)

You fail.

What he really said [wikipedia.org]

Re:Oh really (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 8 years ago | (#16719171)

Of the 7 (possibly 8) countries to have nuclear weapons, only one has ever used them aggressively. I think if that country started looking aggressive in my area, I'd want a nuclear deterrent too.

Re:Oh really (1)

Tarnum (1020273) | about 8 years ago | (#16719093)

However, the International Institute for Strategic Studies, suggests that the sudden interest in nuclear technology is driven by the desire of the six nations to create a 'security hedge' in response to Iran's recent nuclear development program."
And Israel's nuclear development program. And USA's nuclear development program.

The M.A.D. doctrine is the only way to defend against the Dubyas of our world.

Why not just buy from U.S.? (1)

Salvance (1014001) | about 8 years ago | (#16718729)

If these countries were truly looking for nuclear power, why not just buy light water reactors from the U.S.? Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Egypt could easily obtain reactors from the U.S. given their allied status and being favored trading partners.

This would afford them the ability to develop their nuclear expertise to a certain degree, while also providing them cheap power. While it would be more expensive than oil power, it's not really a relevant comparison since the value of oil is in the market value, not the production cost. Since the market value is so much higher than the cost of producing nuclear power, it's a no brainer for them to pursue, particularly for power hungry operations like desalination.

Re:Why not just buy from U.S.? (1)

DigitalRaptor (815681) | about 8 years ago | (#16718857)

We haven't built a nuclear reactor in 20 years, and unfortunately don't plan to. Why would anyone buy from us?

Re:Why not just buy from U.S.? (1)

ToddML (590924) | about 8 years ago | (#16719031)

Don't confuse the construction of domestic plants with companies like G.E. that build plants for worldwide use.

Re:Why not just buy from U.S.? (1)

DigitalRaptor (815681) | about 8 years ago | (#16719269)

According to their own site [ge-energy.com] GE is the last company in the U.S. making light water reactors.

There was a time the U.S. was the big man on campus for nuclear technology. I think that time has passed.

Re:Why not just buy from U.S.? (1)

doit3d (936293) | about 8 years ago | (#16718927)

I do not think that would be wise, for I fear that may speed things up so that they can kill more people quicker. I really think that is what would happen. Historically, people in those regions have fought for thousands of years. I for one, do not ever see a democracy happening over there either. The law of the land over there is that the toughest SOB rules the land, and that SOB will do whatever it takes to do that, even if it means using things that go "Ka-Booooom," not just boom..... I think there are some people over there just crazy enough to do that.

I think it is in the worlds best interest that all nuclear countries keep their tech to themselves, rather than having such technology in a place so prone to violence. Eventually they will get nuclear tech, but why speed things up, they do have a large energy resource as it is. Bigger guns they do not need. They kill each other fine the way it is, without the worry of polluting the rest of the world with horrific radiological contaminants.

Re:Why not just buy from U.S.? (1)

killjoe (766577) | about 8 years ago | (#16719363)

Yes arabs are not as rational as white people. Take for example saudi arabia. They have been involved in one war or another every five or six years as opposed to the US which has never been involved in any war in my lifetime and has never acted irrationally and agressively towards other nations.

Oh wait a minute. I think I have that mixed up..

Re:Why not just buy from U.S.? (1)

MollyB (162595) | about 8 years ago | (#16719241)

Your comment reflects only the economic aspect of these countries' motivation. To buy anything from America is a political hot-potato for them, as showing their "independence" from the West is necessary to the "Arab street." (Forgive my verbal shorthand, please...)

Further, I think they like the ambiguity of having a home-grown system that they can refine in secret if they sense the need to do so. From what very little I know about the subject, light water reactors are not able to produce much weapons-grade material, making their "cost" a different calculation altogether.

Re:Why not just buy from U.S.? (1)

Twiceblessedman (590621) | about 8 years ago | (#16719327)

Because Candu reactors from Canada are better?

Card (1)

toddhisattva (127032) | about 8 years ago | (#16718737)

The United States has an "Attack Iran, Free" card from the late 70s.

Time to use it.

Re:Card (1)

quanticle (843097) | about 8 years ago | (#16718791)

Sure, we may have a justification to attack Iran, but, given the amount of resources Iraq is tying up, I'm not sure we have the ability. I don't think we can stop Iran's nuclear progression with airstrikes alone.

Re:Card (1)

nightfire-unique (253895) | about 8 years ago | (#16719371)

Sure, we may have a justification to attack Iran,

What is wrong with you? Will you not be satisfied until all of the world allies in a war of aggression against you?

Re:Card (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16718833)

That's just the Israeli in ya talkin'

Re:Card (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16719423)

The United States has an "Attack Iran, Free" card from the late 70s.

Time to use it.


Maybe we better wait on that until we the full price on using our "Attack Iraq, Free" card? We might not be able to afford both, especially at the same time.

Then again, why worry? The Democrats will fix everything next week.

You all believe that, right?

And here I thought... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16718797)

And here I thought they were one big happy Islamic family. "Allahu Akbar" my ass!

Bookie (1)

phaetonic (621542) | about 8 years ago | (#16718799)

So within 100 years, are we looking at a Persian Empire again, or maybe a Chinese Empire? You get 2:1 on your money with Chinese, and 3:1 if North Korea doesn't become a tribute state for China.

Re:Bookie (1)

quanticle (843097) | about 8 years ago | (#16718865)

Frankly, I agree. The Chinese these days seem to be doing everything right in terms of expanding their power and influence on the world stage.

They're focusing on growing their economy and ensuring that their colleges produce lots of scientists and engineers to ensure that they catch up technologically. Their military is huge and is becoming better equipped by the month, and, more importantly, its not bogged down in a faraway land. They've suppressed political dissent, allowing their leaders to ignore domestic problems and focus on China's international status.

In the long run the lack of democracy and rural resentment against urban elites will probably do them in, but, in the meantime, we'll probably see a good 30 to 40 years of Chinese domination of Asia.

Re:Bookie (1)

saridder (103936) | about 8 years ago | (#16719159)

ahh, suppressing political dissent. Always an admirable quality. In truth, China is a nation of Haves and Have Not's and is one of the most politically unstable countries in the developed world, their military is still decades behind most countries and they're not bogged down in faraway lands because their military can't get there. They can't even invade Taiwan.

Re:Bookie (1)

zptao (979069) | about 8 years ago | (#16719213)

You, sir, are an idiot. Invading Taiwan would be a political, not military objective. Taiwan is but a stones throw away from China, and not even the United States or Japan could protect them - it would need but half a day to throw landing forces and take over all the bases in the area. Not to mention that half the population is Chinese, not Malaysian in origin...

Re:Bookie (1)

saridder (103936) | about 8 years ago | (#16719267)

actually we are protecting them you fucking jackass. It took just one carrier to stop china in thier tracks in 1996 and not much has changed since then. We sell them subs and missles to keep them from being invaded and have a defense pack, else they'd be like Tibet today.

Re:Bookie (1)

saridder (103936) | about 8 years ago | (#16719453)

Spelled "pact" wrong above.

Here's data backing up my claims in case you try and make another trolling, uninformed, jackassed comment.

http://taiwansecurity.org/News/IHT-The-Balance-of- Power-Remains-in-Taiwan's-Favor.htm [taiwansecurity.org]

"On July 19, the Pentagon released its annual report to the U.S. Congress on "The Military Power of the People's Republic of China," which it was required to do according to the provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2000...The report is clear that, until the end of the present decade, Beijing will not be able to defeat militarily even "a moderate-size adversary" and will not be able to project its sea power beyond coastal defense."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_status_of_T aiwan#Balance_of_power [wikipedia.org]

"President Clinton, sent two aircraft carrier battle groups to the region, sailing them into the Taiwan Strait. The PRC, unable to track the ships' movements, and probably unwilling to escalate the conflict, quickly backed down..."

http://web.mit.edu/ssp/seminars/wed_archives_04spr ing/ross.htm [mit.edu]

"...China today relies on missiles and fighter aircraft to threaten Taiwan. These weapons don't provide China a capability to bring Taiwan to its knees..."

http://www.international.ucla.edu/article.asp?pare ntid=6671 [ucla.edu]

http://www.pinr.com/report.php?ac=view_report&repo rt_id=333&language_id=1 [pinr.com]

Re:Bookie (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 8 years ago | (#16719191)

Not to mention buying America. Any idea how many US treasury bonds China has bought in the last few years? The only reason the US Dollar is worth anything at all (and it's not worth much these days) is that it suits China for it to have value.

Give it to them. (1)

headkase (533448) | about 8 years ago | (#16718831)

They're going to get nuclear technology anyway so the West should step-in with some initiative. Sell them the hardware for power plants and then in a very monitored way sell them the fuel as well. If we give them what they need (and they truly do as potable water is expected to be a major source of conflict in the 21st century) and monitor the fuel usage then, I think, there would be less of a risk of repurposing the fuel to weapons. While at the same time providing infrastructure that these countries need as they enter their industrial ages. When we went through our industrialization we wasted amazing quantities of fossil fuels, now as they catch-up these developing countries can go straight to nuclear avoiding our first-run mistakes.
Why don't they use fossil fuels to power their desalination plants? Probably because in the future that oil will be worth more selling as lubricants and plastics as supplies run low than the cost of nuclear fuel.

Re:Give it to them. (2, Insightful)

Troed (102527) | about 8 years ago | (#16719141)

in a very monitored way

Why should they, for a second, accept that?

Re:Give it to them. (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | about 8 years ago | (#16719339)

Sell them the hardware for power plants and then in a very monitored way sell them the fuel as well. If we give them what they need (and they truly do as potable water is expected to be a major source of conflict in the 21st century) and monitor the fuel usage then, I think, there would be less of a risk of repurposing the fuel to weapons.

We (the USA) have the largest nuclear arsenal in the world. We also have the tendency to invade countries and meddle in their internal affairs. So far, we haven't used our nukes, but neither has anyone else simply because the consequences would be too large to make it practical in warfare. Isn't our "preventing proliferation" just a case of the pot calling the kettle black?!

-b.

just small dividend from "axis of evil" decl. (1)

buulu (580868) | about 8 years ago | (#16718877)

At least now Bush can afford to pay the national debt ... what a genius that man is!

Israel has nuclear weapons (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16718879)

On the other hand, Israel has nuclear weapons already.

Considering the recent events [alternet.org] in Lebanon, who can guarantee that Israel is not going to use them?

High Energy from Small Powers: Inevitable (1)

istartedi (132515) | about 8 years ago | (#16718941)

As technology improves and new discoveries are made, it seems inevitable that high energy technology will be available to small powers. I'm not nearly as concerned about a country having nukes as I am about irresponsable companies having them, or insane neighbors using some sort of device that, say... accumulates easily fusile material in a small package, and cheaply. No, such technology doesn't exist now; but it seems inevitable that the cost of nuclear tech will go down.

Right now, it's pretty cheap for my neighbor to make a fertilizer bomb and take out my entire block. This is pretty much the practical limit of Insane Nutjob Technology (INT). INT is already advanced to a stage that, if you went back to the middle ages, would make a small army jealous.

When INT advances to the point where it can take out an entire city, that's a serious problem. When terrorist armed with INT can scale up enough to destroy the planet, it could end civilization.

This was one of the interesting things about Star Trek that made it less than utopian--INT had progressed to the point where INs could take out entire planets. Fortunately, there was at least one new planet every week.

We may not have that luxury. When INT can take out a significant portion of the planet, that is indeed what might happen, until INT destroys enough of civilization to reduce the power of INT to manageable levels again (no internet, no bomb-making manuals, INT is decremented), or until humanity is destroyed.

Hell no! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16718947)

No nukes in Arab countries. Arab are crazy. All terrorists are Arabs, anyone wonder why?
Arab is very unstable place, its wars all the frigging time down there, all the time people down there are having wars with each other and killing each other, they're like cavemen. Their society sucks, they have sick shit like religious laws, they have dumb stuff like Islam laws. People who cheat on their partner get stoned to death, homosexuals get stoned to death, you cant have sex before you marry, wtf, its a sick place!

If the crazy Arab countries gets nukes, then the world will a be less safe place. You say something bad about Muslims, Islam, or their holy crook Muhammad, then they go bananas with their nukes. They don't understand press freedom.

Non-proliferation is failing (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 8 years ago | (#16719037)


The European lead [washingtonpost.com] negotiations with Iran are failing to produce meaningful results. That is bad enough given the threatening language [cnn.com] from the Iranian leadership, and their President's state of mind [rferl.org] .

Now it looks like the Sunni vs Shia / Arab vs Persian rivalries, are about to take a much more dangerous form, not to mention the Arab/Muslim conflict with Israel. What is even more disturbing is that the restraints that contained the cold war [opinionjournal.com] don't seem to apply. We might end up with a nuclear Jihad.

Bang a Gong, we are on! (1)

Dr. Eggman (932300) | about 8 years ago | (#16719059)

Host: Yes, what the Iron sheik is trying to do is spice up his Napalm Suprise with some irradiated sand!
Guest 1: Oh! That'll be really good! I can't wait to see how this turns out!
Guest 2: I love the smell of napalm in the morning!
All: *Laughs*

I can't say that I'm surprised (1)

Dark Paladin (116525) | about 8 years ago | (#16719071)

If there's anything the recent events in Iraq versus North Korea have demonstrated, it's "those who have nukes don't get invaded". It's the ultimate self-defense mechanism, it would seem.

I'm not worried (1)

gelfling (6534) | about 8 years ago | (#16719085)

They've all proved themselves to be calm levelheaded and rational when it comes to the strategic employment of military and economic resources. Plus, they're at least as enlightened if not moreso than the pinnacle of western culture. Their educational systems are world class, their level of social mobility and tolerance is excellent and political systems are open, transparent, democratic and have sterling checks and balances.If anything we should simply give them all nukes.

reason for iranian nuclear development (1)

sjofi (307114) | about 8 years ago | (#16719211)

response to Iran's recent nuclear development program

and why would iran want to develop nuclear arsenal? probly has nothing to do with the fact that its surrounded on two sides by unstable third world countries with nuclear weapons and on the third side they have a country which is occupied by nation with the largest nuclear arsenal on the planet and that said nation has been threatening to attack (and has in fact supported attacks to) iran since the 70s.

Hmmm.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16719247)

I suppose this has nothing to do with the recent posting in Arabic on a US goverment website on 'How to construct your very own atom bomb, and get around possible setbacks as a middle eastern country'. This research was nicked from pre-Gulf war Iraq and supposedly contains much more information and details than is available though shadly online sources.

Nah.

Hahh...The US is in trouble! (1)

bogaboga (793279) | about 8 years ago | (#16719259)

Under the terms of the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), every state however good or bad, rogue or not, has the right to pursue nuclear ambitions for "peaceful" purposes. Now, this does not mean that some of the technology could be used for non-peaceful purposes.

When it comes to non peaceful purposes like the nuclear bomb, the US does not have an answer! So our government will try to deny nuclear know how to countries it perceives as a threat.


Remember our president refers to "Nuclear" as "Nucilar"! What does not help the situation is the fact that our government continues to hang onto its nuclear arsenal, while boasting that it will develop so called "mini-nukes", and it does not want others to have the same technology! Guys, we're damned! We continue to be whipped in IRAQ and the impending nuclear madness or race does not help matters.

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